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Gau Aadhaar? 88 million cows and buffaloes across India to get unique ID number

To be cattle in India has just gotten much, much better. If it wasn't enough to have laws enacted by politicians and have their statuses protected by the judiciary, cows and buffaloes will also have their own unique identity now. The move is part of the central government's plans of tagging and tracking cattle to ensure they get vaccines on time, which can improve their breeding and milk production, and double the industry's income by 2022.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to a report in The Economic Times, nearly one lakh technicians are fanning out across the country since 1 January, and will affix a tag containing a 12-digit unique identification number inside the ear of every single cow and buffalo in the country — all 88 million of them. The ambitious project will be concluded by the end of this year and comes at a cost of Rs 148 crore.

These 'animal Aadhaar cards' will contain the breed and age of the cattle, as also information about the owner, location and also details about its vaccination.

"The Centre has also fixed targets for individual states to be completed within 2017. Uttar Pradesh has to affix tags on 14 lakh cattle every month, for instance, while Madhya Pradesh has to tag 7.5 lakh cattle a month. India has nearly 41 million buffaloes and 47 million indigenous and cross-bred cows that produce milk. UP has the highest cattle population (16 million) in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh (9 million), Rajasthan (8.4 million), Gujarat (6.2 million) and Andhra Pradesh," the report said.

This move comes about a year after Jharkhand embarked upon a similar mission, to trace and tag the 42 lakh cattle it had. According to a report in Hindustan Times, Jharkhand animal husbandry officials were asked to undergo the exercise to monitor and check the illegal trade of cattle.

Govind Prasad, CEO of Jharkhand State Implement Agency for Cattle and Buffalo (JSIACB), a wing of the central government, said, "Cattle owners will have to fill out a questionnaire comprising details like addresses and phone numbers. These details will be fed on the National Dairy Development Board's database with special identification tags of the cattle, such as their photographs, age, race, complexion, body structure, etc."

Once the plan is implemented, it will not only improve the fortunes of dairy farmers, it will also mean the police of the country can focus on more mundane operations, since no Azam Khan would enlist their help in tracking down his stolen buffaloes!

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2017 18:44 PM

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